A would-be mugger thought he’d easily overcome a slender female alone at night, but when he pulled his “secret weapon” on her, things didn’t go as planned. She was a UFC fighter, and when she noticed his weapon was “too soft,” she decided to show him what she does for a living, teaching him a lesson he won’t soon forget.
Polyana Viana, a 27-year-old UFC strawweight fighter weighing less than 115 pounds, was leaving her apartment around 8 pm on a Saturday night when a man tried to steal her phone. He thought he had found an easy target when he spotted the small woman alone, but he was greatly mistaken, according to Bleacher Report. She was going to make him regret pulling out his “gun” and trying to intimidate her.
The phone thief approached Polyana as she was waiting for an Uber outside her apartment complex in Jacarepagua, a neighborhood in the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “When he saw I saw him, he sat next to me,” Polyana recalled, according to MMA Junkie. “He asked me the time, I said it, and I saw he wasn’t going to leave. So, I already moved to put my cell phone in my waist. And, then, he said, ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed.’ Then, he put his hand over (a gun), but I realized it was too soft.”
This guy was about to meet his match. Instead of leaving with her phone, he was going to get a painful reminder of the big mistake he made assuming the small woman couldn’t defend herself. Polyana might be little, but she was going to put her MMA training to use.
“He was really close to me. So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it.’ So I stood up,” Polyana recalled. “I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke. Then, I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.'”
Once she had him subdued, Polyana asked passersby to call the police as she kept the suspect’s arm immobilized in a kimura-like position until authorities arrived. After his wounds were treated at an emergency care facility, he was taken to the station, where Polyana filed a police report and learned he was just recently released after being arrested before.
Although Polyana was certain the man’s “gun” wasn’t real since it was “too soft,” she wasn’t sure whether it was a toy weapon or possibly even a knife. It turns out, however, it was neither. The man had tried to stick her up with a cardboard cutout in the shape of a gun. Indeed, his “weapon” was as ridiculous as he is.
Polyana Viana knows the area is dangerous, which is why she avoids wandering around alone. But, she thought she was safe directly in front of her building’s entrance with the doormen not far away. It turns out she was — but not thanks to any man. It was her own ability to stay calm and defend herself that ensured her own wellbeing.
“I was fine,” the brave fighter said. “I was fine because he didn’t even react after. Since he took the punches very quickly, I think he was scared. So, he didn’t react anymore. He told me to let him go, like, ‘I just asked for the time.’ I said, ‘Asked for the time my ass,’ because he saw I was very angry.”
Polyana wasn’t going to let him get away with just a whooping either. “I said I wouldn’t let go and that I was going to call the police,” Polyana explained. “He said, ‘Call the police, then,’ because he was scared I was going to beat him up more.”
He was definitely taken by surprise, finding himself on the receiving end of a beating when he thought he had the upper hand. And, this guy wasn’t the first to make that same mistake. Polyana was previously mugged while living in Belem. There, she was approached by two men on a motorcycle. One charged at her, and just like the guy in Rio, he quickly came to regret it.
“He broke my umbrella and tried to take my phone,” Polyana recalled, describing the previous incident. “I said I wasn’t going to give it to him. He tried to take it from my hand, I punched him in the face, and he was scared. This time, I was scared. I don’t know if it was because there were two of them,” she furthered. “So, I was scared, but I think he was more scared than I was, so he jumped on the motorcycle and left.”
The encounter with the man and his cardboard “gun” left Polyana’s hands hurting just a little, but it wasn’t anything compared to what her would-be robber was likely feeling. Although Polyana Viana first made a public impression in her stellar UFC debut, where her rear-naked-choke caught UFC President Dana White’s eye, she’s now proven she’s not only a badass in the octagon — when the need arises, she’s one in the streets too.